Ever heard the expression “grin and bear it?” Turns out there may be something to that. Research shows that maintaining a positive facial expression during times of stress can have both psychological and physiological benefits.
So the next time it feels like you’re under pressure or stressed to the maximum, remember this wise advice from your dentist in Columbus — and smile! Keep reading to learn more about the study and how you can keep your smile healthy and strong for life.
How Smiling Reduces Stress
The smile study we’re citing (and it’s not the only one of its kind) investigated whether positively manipulating facial expressions could impact cardiovascular and affective responses to stress. In regular language, that’s whether or not simply faking a smile when the going gets tough can help you feel better.
The answer was yes. To manipulate the facial expressions of participants, they put chopsticks in their mouths and asked half to smile and the other half to remain neutral. In people who were smiling — whether they were aware of it or not — lower stress rates were reported than those who remained expressionless. That’s great news for everyone!
Make Your Smile a Priority
Whether it’s reducing your stress or helping you nail a job interview, your smile is a crucial part of your daily life — so you want to take care of the teeth and gums that make it look its best. By engaging in routine prevention, you can help to prevent cavities and gum disease for pearly whites that look and feel great over a lifetime.
Remember that patients of all ages should visit the dentist at least twice annually for a checkup and cleaning. During this visit, your dental hygienist will gently remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and point out areas where you may not be getting a proper clean at home. X-rays help your dentist see spots of decay and other issues that may remain unnoticed during the examination portion of the appointment.
The checkup is when your dentist looks for…
- Gum disease
- Worn teeth
- Extra teeth (wisdom teeth)
- Broken dental work
- Oral cancer
When you get professional smile attention regularly, your dental team can provide the most conservative treatment when issues do pop up. So when was your last visit to the dentist? If it’s been longer than six months, it’s time to come in — it could be the best stress reducer you’ve ever tried!
About the Authors
Dr. Eric Buck, Dr. Hannah Burton, and Dr. Carol Gillespie provide superior dental care for Columbus friends and families. To learn more about their preventive, restorative, or cosmetic treatments, or to schedule a visit a Creative Smiles, please contact (614) 459-7766.